New Mexico questions Desert Rock fish impact

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WINDOW ROCK — New Mexico Environment Department has requested a meeting with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to discuss the impacts of emissions from the proposed Desert Rock power plant on threatened and endangered species.

NMED Secretary Ron Curry sent a letter March 30 to the service’s New Mexico Ecological Services Field Office Supervisor Wally Murphy requesting a meeting to discuss the biological assessment for the plant.

“The assessment indicates 13 chemicals of potential concern, including high levels of mercury and selenium, will be emitted from the proposed Desert Rock facility and will impact the San Juan River and the Rio Grande,” Curry stated in the letter.


AGs air Desert Rock permit concerns

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WINDOW ROCK — The attorneys general of New York, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, Oregon and Vermont have jointly submitted comments to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency voicing concerns regarding the proposed issuance of an air quality permit for construction of the Desert Rock power plant.

The attorneys general said they believe EPA’s Region 9 cannot properly rely on a memo from former EPA Administrator Stephen L. Johnson, issued about a month before the Bush administration left office, as the basis for refusing to impose the “best available control technology” requirement for carbon dioxide.

“Rushed through without an opportunity for public comment, the Johnson memo was issued in violation of the Administrative Procedure Act,” they said.

Statement from Lilikala Kame’eleihiwa, UH Center for Hawaiian Studies

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Today we learn that the Supreme Court of Injustice of America, has ruled unanimously that the illegal State of Hawaii has the right to sell “ceded” lands.

Why are we not surprised? If they had ruled otherwise every native nation whose lands have been taken by America would file suit for a return of their lands.

We, the Hawaiian people, who are born from the union of Papahanaumoku and Wakea, earth mother and sky father, and who have lived in these islands for over 100 generations, will always have the moral right to the lands of Hawaii now and forever, no matter what any court says.

Churchill wins CU suit but awarded just $1

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Ward Churchill won his case against the University of Colorado today as a Denver jury unanimously decided he was fired in retaliation for his controversial essay about the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

The jury gave Churchill $1 for past losses, finding he was fired over protected free speech.

Denver Chief District Judge Larry Naves will decide in a separate hearing whether the former Boulder professor can return to his job or receive pay for years he could have worked at CU.

240 fires on nuclear submarines

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BRITAIN’S nuclear submarines have been involved in 14 collisions in the past 21 years, it emerged last night.

The Royal Navy has also admitted there have been 237 fires on its nuclear-powered submarine fleet since 1987.

However, Bob Ainsworth, the armed forces minister, who revealed the figures in a written Commons answer, said the only collision with another submarine was the one in February with a French vessel in the mid-Atlantic.

GAO: Department of Labor Failing to Protect Workers

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Federal agents posing as workers have completed an undercover investigation of the Department of Labor (DOL) that has resulted in claims that the department frequently mishandles serious worker complaints, placing many workers at risk. The outcome of the investigation is detailed in a new report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) that found DOL mishandled nine out of the 10 cases included in the undercover operation.

The report, which is scheduled to be released on March 25, found that the agency’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD) not only failed to properly investigate wage and hour complaints, but also ignored a complaint that underage children were working at a California meatpacking plant during school hours, a violation of a number of labor laws.

GAO filed 10 common complaints with WHD district offices across the country. The undercover tests revealed “sluggish response times, a poor complaint intake process and failed conciliation attempts, among other problems,” said GAO in its report. “In one case, a WHD investigator lied about investigative work performed and did not investigate GAO’s fictitious complaint. At the end of the undercover tests, GAO was still waiting for WHD to begin investigating three cases – a delay of nearly 5, 4 and 2 months, respectively.

NRC details latest nuclear plant leak

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BRATTLEBORO – The latest radioactive leak at the Vermont Yankee nuclear plant is in a threaded plug on the bottom of a demineralizer tank that is part of the reactor’s water cleanup system, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission said Thursday.

The tank contains filter material and is used to clean and purify reactor coolant water that circulates through the reactor, said Neil Sheehan, spokesman for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. The filter also removes radioactivity.

“The leak is small and unrelated to the leak involving the valve,” Sheehan said, referring to the December leak, which was only contained last week.